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September 20, 2017

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Shih to stand down as Acer chair in June

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Acer Inc. (宏碁) Chairman Stan Shih (施振榮) yesterday stated his intent to stand down from his post on June 18. A list of prospective successors is due to be announced on May 8 during the company's shareholder meeting.

In November last year, Shih returned to take the chairmanship of the company following a bout of widening losses for the former leader of the global PC sector. Shih stated that after the coinciding board of directors and chairperson elections, scheduled for June 18, Acer is expected to regain its former glory within three years. Slated to produce its list of new board director candidates on May 8, Shih said the media could guess who the next chairperson might be.

On the subject of leadership succession for the company, Shih expressed his resolve to pass the torch down to the younger generation and stated that he has plans to allocate key positions to veteran managers aged between 30 and 40.

Shih also stated that he will remain involved with the company after stepping down and oversee efforts toward Acer's Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) initiative. An exhibition venue will begin running on May 29 to allow the public to experience Acer's entrance into the fledgling cloud computing services field, said Shih, adding that at around the same time the company will release a list of collaborating partners in the endeavor.

"It has been a long process and a personal journey," Shih recounted yesterday on the decision to retake Acer's chairmanship, adding that it took considerable effort to overcome his apprehensions and doubt to meet the challenge of getting the company back on track.

Shih remarked that he thought all precautions and preparations were completed previously when the reins of the company were passed to a successor. In hindsight, the leadership succession process went smoothly, said Shih, with the exception that the individual could not live up to what was required to lead the company, hence the dire strait Acer is currently facing. Shih vowed to select the correct successor from the younger generation with the necessary abilities for the task.

In addition, Shih lauded the performance of newly appointed CEO Chen Chun-sheng (陳俊聖), but stated that Chen would require three more years of experience before he is ready to step into the role of company chairman. According to Shih, the chairmanship position requires finesse in facing shareholders in addition to overseeing the company's operations.

Shih: a Veteran of Company Transformations

In the past three decades Shih has led the transformation of Acer in times of need, including in 1989 where he ushered in sweeping organizational restructuring that separated the company's leading profit earning and loss incurring centers, which resulted in the spinning off of the unprofitable BenQ (明碁). In 2000, Shih separated the company's brand named operations and its contract manufacturing arm, and in 2001 founded Winstron (緯創), now a major original design manufacturing company. In 2013 Shih was called out of retirement to lead Acer out of a persistent slump by pursuing the emerging market of cloud computing services.

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